Texas Heartbeat Bill

The polarized views of the new Texas abortion law

Graphic by: Dylan Bowden | Production Manager

Earlier this month, the Supreme Court upheld the heartbeat bill in Texas, caus- ing strong reactions from both pro-life and pro-choice individuals.

This legislation restricts almost all abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detect- ed. Texas now has the most extreme abor- tion laws in the nation.

Professor Aaron Madziar from the col- lege of business explained that Roe v. Wade found that abortion is a constitution- al right, however, constitutional rights are not always absolute and can be subject to some restriction.

“The recent Texas law restricts most abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected … Courts have determined that fetal viably is an important factor in deter- mining whether a restriction on the right to an abortion is constitutional, but it is not the sole factor,” Madziar said.

The Texas law has a unique aspect to it; citizens are allowed to bring civil lawsuits against anyone facilitating an abortion that is covered under the lawsuit.

“It provides that anyone who brings a successful action will be eligible to receive $10,000 plus repayment of their legal

fees. Note that the lawsuit can be brought against anyone who aids and abets a re- stricted abortion, but not against the pa- tient. These factors make it difficult for opponents to challenge the law through traditional judicial review paths,” Madziar said.

This case was brought to the Supreme Court, and they found the new law consti- tutional with a 5-4 ruling. The court is set to reconvene on Oct. 4 regarding this case. The Justice Department also recently an- nounced its intentions to sue Texas over the statute.

On Oct. 2 pro-choice women’s marches headed up by the Women’s March and 90 other organizations will be taking place in every state.

“We’re going to send the Supreme Court and lawmakers across the country a clear, unified message. The attack on our repro- ductive rights will not be tolerated,” the Women’s March website said.

At Ferris, Timberly Boezwinkle from stu- dent academic affairs is helping to head up an Oct. 2 Women’s March. Boezwinkle was not available for additional comments.

The mission of the Ferris Women’s Net- work is to promote personal growth, self reflection and authenticity and courageous living. The executive board explained that

they are against the new Texas law and its effect on women’s equality.

“The Supreme Court’s recent decision regarding Texas’ legislation sets a prece- dent that restricts personal autonomy and access to affordable, quality healthcare,” the board said.

Furthermore, they believe the Supreme Court’s inaction jeopardizes the privileges and rights of all people.

Kim Bos is the campus minister at the Wesley House, the only progressive Chris- tian group on campus. She explained that the Methodist church does not endorse abortion as a form of birth control, but that they are against abortion bans.

“To decrease abortions, we endorse un- fettered access to birth control, subsidized birth control, prenatal healthcare and com- prehensive sex education,” Bos said.

Bos further added that many Christians have no problem with the sacredness of unborn life because the unborn have never hurt anyone, however, it can be harder to see that the life of the woman is also sa- cred and valuable.

“We don’t want you to have a baby be- cause you have no other options, we want it to be about the choice. We are pro having a right to make that choice,” Bos said.

At Ferris, the Protect Life club run by

President Baylee DeVos views the Heart- beat Bill in Texas as a victory.

“These laws in Texas are incredibly en- couraging. The math equals out to around 150 babies saved every day. It also means that women in crisis can receive long term help from one of the 164 pregnancy cen- ters for free,” DeVos said.

DeVos further explained that at Protect Life they hope Texas will become an ex- ample and laws like this one will be put in place in other states as well.

“In some ways, however, this legislature in Texas is just the beginning. For Protect Life, our goal is to make abortion unthink- able… including before the six weeks when the heartbeat is detectable,” DeVos said.

DeVos noted that, since Roe v. Wade, states haven’t had the ability to make their own laws regarding abortion.

“The Supreme Court still allowed the leg- islation in Texas to stand, however, giving us hope that similar laws may start to show up in different states, or even that Roe may eventually be overturned entirely.”

DeVos explained that at Protect Life their stance is quite simple: it is wrong to kill an innocent human being, and since abortion does this, it is wrong.